The rules of the law school are listed below. Select the yellow headline for the appropriate policy to read the content. If you have any questions regarding the policies, please contact the Dean of Students Office at 617-573-8157.
A candidate for the degree of Juris Doctor must be in good academic standing and comply with the following requirements:
1. A candidate must have completed at least three years of full-time study in law school or have completed at least four years of part-time study in law school. A student in good academic standing may, in extraordinary circumstances and with the permission of the Dean of Students Office, complete an upper-class year of study at another ABA-accredited law school (see policy on Visiting Out, Study Abroad and Electives at Non-Suffolk Programs.)
2. A student admitted with advanced standing based on course work completed at another ABA-accredited law school must complete at least two years (four semesters) of study at Suffolk University Law School in order to receive the Juris Doctor degree from Suffolk University. In exceptional circumstances this requirement may be reduced at the discretion of an Associate Dean.
3. A candidate’s complete law school record must (i) show a cumulative weighted average of at least 2.00; and (ii) show unsatisfactory grades outstanding in no more than three courses.
A student in good academic standing may convert an unsatisfactory grade into a satisfactory grade for purposes of this Regulation I (A) (3) by means of the reexamination procedure prescribed by Regulation III (G).
4. The ABA, as a national accrediting authority for law schools, has established in ABA Standard 304(b) that a law school shall require, as a condition for graduation, successful completion of a course of study in residence of not fewer than 58,000 minutes of instruction time, and that at least 45,000 of these minutes shall be by attendance in regularly scheduled class sessions at the law school. Suffolk University Law School adheres to this standard for all of its Day and Evening Division students.
5. Any student who with a GPA of 2.67 to below 3.00 in the first year must take Advanced Survey of Core Legal Principles in the student’s final semester. This provision will go into effect during the 2014-2015 academic year. [Approved by law faculty on 11/14/13]
6. Prior to graduation, every student must satisfactorily complete:
a. six credits of upper-level skills courses,
b. two continuing legal education seminars, and
c. a minimum of 50 hours of practice-based learning in any of the following ways: (i) a clinic; (ii) internship for credit; (iii) First Year Summer Internship Program placement; (iv) 50 hours of legal work completed through the Pro Bono Program; or (v) 50 hours of legal work completed under the supervision of an attorney.
Students completing Sections b and c(v) of this requirement must submit certification of completion to the Registrar.
Part-time students in the Evening Division are exempt from section c of the requirement, but are encouraged to complete it.
[Approved by law faculty on 2/13/14]
7. All students are required to take a Diagnostic Exam covering bar-related subjects that were taught during their first year of studies (or first two years for evening students). Students may take the exam after their first-year in the day division and after the second year in the evening division. The grade on the exam does not appear on the student’s transcript nor is calculated into the student’s GPA. However, the completion of the Diagnostic Exam is a graduation requirement and is included as part of a student’s degree audit. The diagnostic exam is offered two times per year, at the beginning of the fall and spring semesters. Each scheduled date will offer both a day and evening sitting.
[Approved by law faculty on 4/17/14]
8. Degrees are awarded by the Trustees at Suffolk University on the recommendation of the faculty. Recommendation may be withheld by the faculty for good cause other than failure to meet the foregoing requirements.
The Day Division course of study consists of three academic years of full-time study. Under the Regulations of the Law School, the Standards of ABA, and the Rules of the Board of Bar Examiners of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, only those students who can devote a substantial amount of time to the study of law are eligible to enroll in the full-time Day Division and to complete their law study in three school years.
[Note: ABA Standard 304 (f) prohibits remunerative employment by Day Division students in excess of 20 hours per week.]
1. Semester Hour Requirements: The academic year consists of two semesters, the first or fall semester, commencing in September and the second or spring semester, commencing in January. The Day Division requires six semesters of class work. A total of 84 semester hours is required in order to earn the Juris Doctor degree. For purposes of this Regulation I (B), the reexamination procedure prescribed by Regulation III (G) has no effect .
2. In addition to the degree requirements of credit hours established by Suffolk University Law School, the ABA has imposed a residence requirement on all law schools subject to its accreditation. This requirement, which Suffolk University Law School must adhere to, requires all full-time students (Day Division) to have 65 days per semester (of at least 10 credits) in residence for a total of 6 semesters in order to graduate.
1. Semester Hour Requirements: The academic year consists of two semesters, the first or fall semester, commencing in September, and the second or spring semester, commencing in January. The Evening Division requires eight semesters of class work. A total of 84 semester hours is required in order to earn the Juris Doctor degree. For purposes of this Regulation I (C), the reexamination procedure prescribed by Regulation III (G) has no effect.
2. In addition to the degree requirements of credit hours established by Suffolk University Law School, the Law School also adheres to the ABA residence requirement that all part-time students (Evening Division) have 65 days per semester (of at least eight credits) in residence for a total of 8 semesters in order to graduate.
1. Day Division
No Day Division student may register for more than 15 credits or less than 12 credits in any one semester, or register for credits which result in more than 30 credits or less than 27 credits in any academic year.
2. Evening Division
No Evening Division student may register for more than 12 credits or less than 9 credits in any one semester, or register for credits which result in more than 24 credits or less than 21 credits in any academic year.
A student must take the courses and examinations for the section in which (s)he is enrolled. Each student is expected to perform all class assignments and to attend class meetings regularly and in a punctual manner. Failure to do so may result in exclusion from an examination, which may result in a grade of No Credit, F, probation, suspension or dismissal.
2. Applicable Absence Limitation
With respect to any course, a student is allowed to miss up to the “Applicable Absence Limitation” for that course. Students with absences in excess of the Applicable Absence Limitation shall be excluded from the course, unless such excess absences are excused in accordance with Paragraph 8, below. The Applicable Absence Limitation shall mean 15% of the total minutes of instruction required for the credit amount of the course and is defined by the following table:
|Credit Hours/Semester||Applicable Absence Limitation/Semester|
|2-credit course, meets once a week||220 minutes of class, or up to two class meetings|
|2-credit course, meets twice a week||220 minutes of class, or up to four class meetings|
|3-credit course, meets once a week||330 minutes of class, or up to two class meetings|
|3-credit course, meets twice a week||330 minutes of class, or up to four class meetings|
|3-credit course, meets three times a week||330 minutes of class, or up to six class meetings|
|4-credit course, meets twice a week||440 minutes of class, or up to four class meetings|
|Credit Hours/Summer Session||Applicable Absence Limitation/Summer Session|
|2-credit course, meets once a week||Up to one class meeting|
|3-credit course, meets twice a week||Up to two class meetings|
|4-credit course, meets twice a week||Up to two class meetings|
3. Year-long Courses
In year-long courses, each of the semesters of a course shall have its own Applicable Absence Limitation as defined above. Students may not “carry-over” unused absences to increase the Applicable Absence Limitation in the second semester of a year-long course.
4. Add/Drop Period
For elective courses, class meetings during the add/drop period shall be disregarded in determining whether a student has exceeded the Applicable Absence Limitation. This does not apply to required courses, summer session, inter-session or intensive courses.
5. Inter-session and Intensive Courses
Because inter-session and intensive courses normally are designed to have a limited number of class meetings, there is no Applicable Absence Limitation available for these courses. Students are expected to attend all class meetings of inter-session and intensive courses. An absence or significant tardiness to an inter-session or an intensive classes will result in the student being excluded from the course. To obtain a waiver to this rule, a student must submit a petition to the Dean of Students. The Dean of Students will only grant the petition if 1) the petition shows an extraordinary and unavoidable circumstance, and 2) the instructor believes that the amount of absence will not unreasonably alter the level of engagement expected of all students in the course.
6. Reasons for Absences
The absences taken within Applicable Absence Limitation in any course must relate to short-term family, personal, localized weather, commuting, work or illness issues.
7. Reporting Absences to the Instructor, Dean of Students
Any absences within the Applicable Absence Limitation should be reported directly to the instructor by the student. Any absences in excess of the Applicable Absence Limitation or any absences of more than three consecutive school days shall be reported to the Dean of Students by the student as soon as practicable.
8. Excused Absences Beyond the Applicable Absence Limitation
The Dean of Students may make a determination that, on account of extraordinary circumstances affecting an extended period of time, a student shall be excused for a limited amount of time beyond the Applicable Absence Limitation. Such extraordinary circumstances must relate to health, bereavement, family, military or significant personal issues. Excusals will not be granted for vacations or on-going conflicts resulting from the student’s normal employment commitments. In addition, excusals will not be granted to relieve Day Students of the limitation on employment set by the law school or ABA Standard 304 (f).
The Dean of Students may not excuse absences for more than one week’s worth of classes beyond the Applicable Absence Limitation or in circumstances where a student would miss more than 10 consecutive days of classes during a semester regardless of the circumstances. Students who have circumstances causing them to be absent for more than these specified periods shall consult with the Dean of Students regarding a Voluntary Leave of Absence or course withdrawal.
9. Student Responsibilities Regarding Absences and Attendance Records
Students are advised to keep a personal record of all absences.
In courses where the instructor requires the students to sign an attendance sheet (or otherwise mark themselves as present), it is the student’s responsibility to ensure that this is done in a timely manner for each class. Students who mark or sign as present a classmate who is absent shall be subject to disciplinary action.
10. Reporting of Excess Absences
In any course in which a student has been absent without excuse for more than the Applicable Absence Limitation, the instructor of that course shall notify the Dean of Students, indicating the dates or number of class absences. Once it is determined that the student is to be excluded from that course as per Paragraph 2., an Associate Dean, in light of applicable circumstances and upon consultation with the reporting instructor and the Dean of Students, shall determine whether to allow the student to withdraw from the course or whether to exclude that student from the course and to award that student a grade of F for the course.
11. Tardiness and Early Departures
Excessive tardiness or early departures from class may result in exclusion from a course under this policy. Excusals will not be granted for tardiness or early departures for normal and foreseeable commutes or work schedules.
[Amended by Law Faculty on 11/14/13]
1. First-year students
The provisions of section 1 apply to all first-year students.
(All other students are subject to the provisions of section 2 – Upper-class Students.)
a. First-Semester Academic Standing
i. At the end of the first semester, a student is not in good academic standing and will be dismissed from the law school if either of the following applies:
a. the student receives final grades that are unsatisfactory in three of the student’s first semester courses, or
b. the student receives two or more final grades of F in first semester courses
The dismissal is final, and there is no appeal of the dismissal. The academic performance and individual circumstances of students who are dismissed pursuant to this section are not subject to review by the Academic Standing Committee.
ii. The Academic Standing Committee will review a student who has unsatisfactory final grades in two courses for the first semester but who does not fall under II. C. 1. a. i. Such a student is not in good academic standing and may be dismissed. The Committee may vote to allow the student to continue on academic probation. The Committee may also set other conditions of the student’s continued enrollment, including but not limited to a reduction in course load, participation in academic and other student support programs or courses, repeat of certain courses, or a leave of absence from the school. In determining if a student may continue, the Committee will take into account the following:
a. whether the student experienced extraordinary circumstances during the first semester that affected the student’s academic performance or
b. whether the student is likely to succeed in the study of law.
If the Committee votes to dismiss the student, that dismissal is final and unappealable.
iii. Students who receive one unsatisfactory grade in the first semester will receive a notice from the Academic Standing Committee warning the student of the Academic Standing Requirements and advising the student of academic support resources.
b. Second-Semester Academic Standing
i. At the end of the second semester of the first-year, a student is not in good academic standing and will be dismissed from the law school if either of the following applies:
a. the student has a grade point average of less than 2.00 for that academic year, or
b. the student has unsatisfactory grades in three or more courses for that academic year.
The dismissal is final, and there is no appeal of the dismissal. The academic performance and individual circumstances of students who are dismissed pursuant to this section are not subject to review by the Academic Standing Committee.
ii. The Academic Standing Committee will review a student who does not fall within the above dismissal standard (II. C. 1. b. i.) but has a grade point average for that academic year ranging from 2.00 to below 2.33 or was reviewed by the Academic Standing Committee after the first semester and failed to meet any conditions of continued enrollment set by the Committee. Such a student is not in good academic standing and may be dismissed. The Committee may vote to allow the student to continue on academic probation and Academic Warning. The Committee may also set other conditions of the student’s continued enrollment, including but not limited to a reduction in course load, participation in academic and other student support programs or courses, repeat of certain courses, or a leave of absence from the school. The Committee will not allow the student to continue unless it finds by clear and convincing evidence that:
a. the student experienced extraordinary circumstances during the academic year,
b. the extraordinary circumstances affected the student’s academic performance, and
c. the student is likely to succeed in the study of law.
If the Committee votes to dismiss the student, that dismissal is final and unappealable.
c. Academic Warning
In addition to those students who are placed on Academic Warning pursuant to the above Second-Semester Academic Standing provision, the following students will also be placed on Academic Warning, but without review by the Academic Standing Committee:
i. Any student with a grade point average for the first year, ranging from 2.33 to below 2.67; or
ii. Any student who has at least two unsatisfactory grades for that academic year, regardless of the student’s grade point average.
Students who are placed on Academic Warning must enroll in, and earn a satisfactory grade in, the following courses:
1. Legal Analysis & Methods (must be taken no later than the fall semester of the student's second year);
3. Trusts and Estates (may be fulfilled by enrollment in the combined "Trusts and Estates" course or by enrollment in the separate "Trusts" and "Estates" courses)
4. Corporations or LLC, Partnership & Agency
5. Commercial Law Survey, Commercial Paper, Commercial Sales, or Secured Transactions
6. Constitutional Law/Criminal Procedure
7. Massachusetts Practice, if the student intends to take the Massachusetts bar examination
8. Fundamentals of Massachusetts Law (must be taken in the student’s final semester)
With the exception of Legal Analysis & Methods (which must be taken no later than the fall semester of the second year) and Fundamentals of Massachusetts Law (which must be taken in the student’s final semester), these courses may be taken at any time prior to graduation and they serve as a substitute for the Base Menu requirements that are applicable to students who are not on Academic Warning.
Students who receive an unsatisfactory grade in the above courses must participate in the Academic Support Program and are required to repeat the course in which the unsatisfactory grade was received.
Course Guidance and Curriculum Review. Students are strongly urged to take advanced courses that serve to reinforce first-year courses in which they received unsatisfactory grades. Such courses may include advanced legal writing courses and such other courses as may be designated as appropriate by the Law Faculty. Students are also strongly urged to take all of the bar exam preparation courses, including the diagnostic mini-bar exam with review, offered at the law school.
Students on Academic Warning remain subject to all other graduation requirements, including completion of the course in Professional Responsibility, satisfaction of the Legal Writing Requirement, and the Practical Skills Requirement.
2. Upper-class Students
a. An upper-class student is not in good academic standing if he or she receives final grades below C in more than one course in any semester.
b. An upper-class student who is not in good academic standing after a semester, but who does not fall within paragraph (2)(c), shall be placed on probation for the following semester.
c. An upper-class student whose average for the semester is no greater than 2.00, who receives final grades below C in three or more courses, or who receives final grades below C in more than one course while on probation, may be dismissed. The Academic Standing Committee may vote to allow the student to continue on probation. The Committee will not allow the student to continue unless it finds by clear and convincing evidence that:
i. the student experienced extraordinary circumstances during the semester,
ii. the extraordinary circumstances affected the student’s academic performance, and
iii. the student is likely to succeed in the study of law.
d. If a student who is not on probation but has been on probation previously and is not in good academic standing for a semester, he or she shall come before the Academic Standing Committee, which shall determine, based on the student’s overall academic record and the reasons for the failure to maintain good academic standing, whether or not the student shall be dismissed or continue on probation.
e. Any student who fails to achieve good academic standing for the relevant year or semester three times will be dismissed, unless at least five members of the Academic Standing Committee vote that the student be allowed to continue on probation. (For example, a student would fall into this category if his or her grades for the first year were below the standards for good standing, his or her grades for the second semester of the second year were below the standards for good standing, and his or her grades for the first semester of the third year were below the standards for good standing). In the event the student is allowed to continue, the Academic Standing Committee shall set the conditions of such probation.
3. Academic Standing Committee
a. Petitions for permission to continue will be considered by the Academic Standing Committee, consisting of six faculty members and an Associate Dean. The Associate Dean, who shall be a member of the Law School Faculty, shall serve as chair of the committee, and shall only vote in the case of a tie.
b. The student shall be afforded an opportunity to submit a petition in writing to the committee and to be heard before the committee prior to its decision. Full documentation of the circumstances must accompany the petition. If such reasons involve physical or psychological incapacity before or during examinations, full documentation of the problem from a treating professional must accompany the petition.
c. If the committee allows a student to continue on probation, it may impose conditions, including but not limited to repeating a course, periodic meetings with a faculty advisor, an assistance program prescribed by the committee, limitations on employment or extracurricular activities, or taking a semester or years leave prior to continuing.
The decision of the Academic Standing Committee is final. There is no appeal of its decision.
4. General Provisions
a. No student may graduate with final grades below C in more than three courses or with an average below 2.00.
b. No student may enroll in the second semester of a two-semester course, such as Property or Contracts, if the student receives a final grade of F in the first semester of the course.
c. A student, whether or not in good academic standing, shall be required to repeat any required course in which he or she receives a grade of F. Both the original grade of F and the grade received upon repetition of the course shall be included in the student’s grade point average. For purposes of this Regulation II (C) (4) (c), the term “required course” shall mean all first year courses, including for evening students Constitutional Law and Property although offered in the second year. For purposes of this Regulation II (C) (4) (c) the term “required course” shall also include Professional Responsibility. For purposes of this Regulation II (C) (4) (c) the term “required course” does not include Base Menu courses. A Base Menu course in which a student receives a grade of F may not be counted in satisfaction of the Base Menu Requirement. For purposes of this Regulation II (C) (4) (c), the reexamination procedure prescribed by Regulation III (G) has no effect.
d. An upper-class student taking a reduced program shall not be in good academic standing if his or her grade point average for the semester falls below 2.00 or if he or she receives grades below C in more than 30% of the total credit hours carried. A first-year student taking a reduced program shall not be in good academic standing if his or her grade point average for the first year falls below 2.00 or if he or she receives grades below C in more than 30% of the total credit hours carried.
e. For purposes of determining a student’s academic standing, a grade of No Credit shall be equivalent to an F.
f. If a course description specifies a course to be a prerequisite for registration, a student shall not be treated as having satisfied the prerequisite if the student receives a grade of F with respect to the prerequisite course. However, a student in good academic standing may satisfy a prerequisite by means of the reexamination procedure prescribed by Regulation III (G).
g. Any student who receives an unsatisfactory grade (C- or below) in Legal Practice Skills is required to enroll in Advanced Legal Writing. This requirement applies to day and evening students enrolled in the first-year of law school as of the academic year commencing August 2006 and thereafter.
h. A student who has been dismissed from the law school in accordance with any of the provisions of the Academic Standing Requirements must comply with the law school’s Readmissions process and timeframes. See Rule IV. Readmissions.
The Dean’s List is an annual honor designation for students placing in the top 33%, solely for that academic year, of (i) the first year student body, or (ii) the upper-class student body, as the case may be. Those students who qualify for the Dean’s List will be determined annually, after completion of the spring term, by the Associate Dean/Registrar and the Academic Associate Deans using the grades from the year just completed. The Dean’s List will be announced shortly after grades for the spring term are posted. No change will be made to the Dean’s List G.P.A. once it has been determined.
A student who has complied with all requirements for the degree of Juris Doctor, and whose scholastic achievements, in the judgment of the Faculty, have been outstanding, will be recommended for the degree with honors. The graduating student with the highest cumulative average in the day and evening divisions will be awarded the degree summa cum laude; the Faculty may in its discretion also award the graduation honors summa cum laude to additional students.
Honors will be determined as follows:
• Summa Cum Laude: Students in the top 3 percent in each division.
• Magna Cum Laude: Students in top 8 percent in each division but below the standard for Summa Cum Laude.
• Cum Laude: Students in top 25 percent in each division but below the standard for Magna Cum Laude.
For the purposes of determining honors, the January and May graduates of the same calendar year will be considered the graduating class. Honor determinations for September graduates will be based on the honor determinations made in the preceding May of the same calendar year.
1. Any violation of academic integrity shall be viewed as a serious infraction of the Rules and Regulations of the Law School. Violations of academic integrity shall include, but are not limited to, dishonesty in the examination process and plagiarism in written work. Plagiarism is the representation of the language, ideas or format of another as one’s own in any writing submitted for academic purposes.
2. Use of the work of another without proper attribution constitutes plagiarism whether or not the writer acts with intent to mislead or deceive. However, such intent, or the lack of it, may be considered in determining the proper sanction if a violation is established.
3. It is not permissible to paraphrase more than a few words of the work of another. Any idea which is paraphrased from the work of another must be properly acknowledged. It is impermissible to use quotations from sources, even with acknowledgment, unless the quotation is placed in quotation marks and acknowledgment is given to the specific page or pages where the quoted material is found.
4. It is also impermissible to copy substantial parts of the sentence structure, paragraph structure, or organizational format of the work of another, even if some words or ideas are changed from the original. Such borrowing is impermissible even if citations to the source are included in the text. A general citation of a source, without quotation, is not sufficient to acknowledge the borrowing of the words or intellectual structure of another’s work. Such citations indicate that the source supports the idea in the citing text, not that the words or structure of the cited work are used. Quotations must be given verbatim and indented or placed in quotation marks.
5. No student may submit the same written work, or substantially the same paper, in satisfaction of more than one academic requirement. If, in unusual circumstances, a student is authorized to submit the same work, or parts of the same work, in satisfaction of more than one requirement, written consent of all persons to whom the work is to be submitted must be obtained in advance, and retained by the student and all persons to whom the writing is submitted. It is permissible, with the consent of the professor, to use a paper submitted for course credit to satisfy the writing requirement as well.
6. It is a violation of this regulation to provide any written work to another student, with the knowledge that it will be submitted as his or her original work in satisfaction of any course requirement or for any other school-related purpose.
7. Academic credit may be withheld for any work which violates this regulation. Academic credit awarded for work which is later discovered to have been submitted in violation of this regulation may be withdrawn. A degree awarded in part on the basis of such course credit may be revoked.
8. The presumptive sanction for a deliberate act of plagiarism is suspension or dismissal from the Law School.
9. This regulation applies to all work submitted by a student for any course or school-related activity. This includes not only course papers and examinations but also written work for the law reviews, moot court competitions and similar law school-related activities. Where original work is expected, the regulation applies to drafts as well as final submissions. The regulation does not apply to those unusual situations in which the student is not expected to submit original work. For example, it might not apply to drafting pleadings in a clinical setting.
10. Students are responsible for compliance with these requirements. A student who has any doubt about the propriety of his or her use of sources, or as to whether the work is expected to be original work, should consult with the relevant professor or supervisor before or at the time of submission of the work in question.
11. By submitting any written work for academic credit or for any school-related purpose, the student represents that the work submitted complies with the provisions of these regulations.
1. Cumulative limit on credits for ungraded, non-classroom work and clinical fieldwork. A student may count no more than 16 credits of ungraded non-classroom work and clinical fieldwork toward the degree. A student may not count more than 12 credits of clinical fieldwork toward the degree. These limits do not apply to the seminar component of an in-house clinic or an internship.
Example: Student takes an eight-credit in-house clinic, for which four credits are assigned to the seminar component and four to the fieldwork. Only the four credits for fieldwork count toward the credit restrictions in this subsection.
Example: Student takes an internship that includes a two-credit seminar and three credits for fieldwork. Only the three credits of fieldwork count toward the credit restrictions in this subsection.
2. Limit on non-classroom ungraded activities in one semester. A student may not receive more than two units of credit in any semester for non-classroom ungraded activities, as opposed to regular course work. Non-classroom ungraded activities which count toward the two-credit-per-semester limit include directed study, law journal work (including Law Review, Transnational Law Review, Journal Of Health and Biomedical Law, Journal of High Technology Law, Moot Court, including Moot Court teams and Journal of Trial and Appellate Advocacy, research assistantships, and concentration thesis credits. The fieldwork component of an internship does not count toward this two-credit limit.
Example: Student takes an internship which includes a two-credit seminar and three ungraded credits for fieldwork. The student may still receive two credits in that semester for other non-classroom ungraded activities.
Example: Student receives two ungraded credits for work on a law school journal. The student may not receive additional ungraded credits in the same semester for a directed study, research assistantship or concentration thesis. The student may receive credits for the ungraded fieldwork component of an internship in that semester.
3. Limit on enrollment in in-house clinics and internships. A student may only enroll in one in-house clinic while obtaining the Juris Doctor degree, unless he or she is granted a waiver by the Director of Clinical Programs. Students may not enroll in an in-house clinic and an internship during the same semester. A student may not enroll in more than one internship for credit during a single semester.
4. Credit/ no credit grades for non-classroom activities. Non-classroom activities which are not graded under the law school’s generally applicable grading rules and fieldwork credits for internships shall be graded on a Credit/ No Credit basis. The grade of Credit shall be a satisfactory grade. The grade of No Credit shall be the equivalent of the grade of F. Students will receive a letter grade under the Law School’s general grading rules for the seminar component of an internship and for the seminar and fieldwork components of an in-house clinic.
5. The instructor in any non-anonymously graded course may elect to grade the course on an Honors/Pass/Low Pass/Fail basis. Such grades will not be calculated into a student’s cumulative average. An instructor must notify the students at the first meeting of the course if the instructor elects the Honors/Pass/Low Pass/Fail basis of grading. Prospective students in a clinical course will be notified at the time of application if the instructor intends to utilize the Honors/Pass/Low Pass/Fail basis of grading. For all purposes under these Regulations, the grades of Honors, Pass, and Low Pass shall be satisfactory grades, and the grade of Fail shall be the equivalent of a grade of F.
Prior to graduation each student must complete a substantial piece of legal writing that demonstrates both proficiency in writing skills and mastery of the subject matter, known as the “Legal Writing Requirement.” It is strongly recommended that students complete the Legal Writing Requirement no later than their next to last semester prior to graduation. To satisfy the Legal Writing Requirement, students must satisfy the rules, requirements, and procedures listed below.
1. GENERAL RULES
a. A paper intended to satisfy the Legal Writing Requirement must be substantial, meaning a length of at least 20 typewritten pages of double-spaced text (at least 4,000 words, not counting appendices). If in the judgment of the supervising faculty member, two or more pieces of written work cumulatively are the equivalent of a substantial piece of legal writing, they may jointly qualify to satisfy the Legal Writing Requirement.
b. The student’s research and writing for the paper should reflect the student’s own individual effort. It should be the student’s original work. A writing that is in whole or in part a product of plagiarism does not meet the standards of this requirement, much less the rules related to Academic Integrity set out in Regulation II (F), which should be reviewed by the student at the outset and which governs the student’s conduct. The student may not receive any assistance on the paper from anyone, unless the supervising faculty member has given the student express permission. The paper, or substantially the same paper, must not have been submitted for credit in any previous course. If in extraordinary circumstances, a student is authorized to submit the same work, or parts of the same work, in satisfaction of more than one requirement, written consent of all persons to whom the work is to be submitted must be obtained in advance and be on file with the Registrar. To assure compliance with the rules related to academic integrity, and in order to submit a paper to satisfy the Legal Writing Requirement, each student should be given a copy of this Legal Writing Requirement and shall certify before undertaking it that the student has read and understood the Legal Writing Requirement, including the rules relating to Academic Integrity (Regulation II (F)).
c. Each student should use The Bluebook, A Uniform Manual for Citation or its equivalent for all citations.
d. The student’s paper must demonstrate proficiency in writing skills and a mastery of the subject matter. In assessing whether the student has succeeded, the following criteria will be relevant:
i. the quality of the student’s research;
ii. the manner in which the student treated and examined open questions;
iii. the creativity of the student’s ideas or synthesis of those of others;
iv. the organization of the paper;
v. the clarity of the writing;
vi. the quality and accuracy of the analysis;
vii. the editing and proofreading of the paper;
viii. the student’s understanding of the topic; and
ix. the degree to which the student’s paper concisely and simply communicates the student’s ideas and analysis.
e. In the discretion of the supervising faculty member, the faculty member may consider other factors in determining the student’s proficiency in writing skills and a mastery of the subject matter, including the student’s failure to meet any of the established requirements, procedures or deadlines.
f. Each student must file a form with the Registrar by his or her last semester prior to graduation, indicating the manner in which the Legal Writing Requirement will be satisfied and making the required certification. It is strongly recommended that students complete the Legal Writing Requirement no later than their next to last semester prior to graduating. A student may satisfy the Legal Writing Requirement in only one of the following ways:
i. Full-time faculty supervised writing: A student may satisfy the Legal Writing Requirement by writing a paper under close supervision or oversight by a member of the full-time faculty, certified by the faculty member as meeting the standards of the Legal Writing Requirement. For example, a paper written for a course or seminar, or work as a directed study project or work prepared as a research assistant to a full-time faculty member, may qualify.
ii. Adjunct faculty supervised writing: A student may also satisfy the Legal Writing Requirement by writing a paper under close supervision or oversight by a member of the adjunct faculty in a course or seminar, with the approval of an Associate Dean, and certified by the adjunct faculty member as meeting the standards of the Legal Writing Requirement.
iii. Journal writing: If the student is a member of the Journal of High Technology Law, Journal of Health & Biomedical Law, Law Review, or Transnational Law Review, the student may satisfy the Legal Writing Requirement by writing a case comment, note, or other document that has been approved by that publication's Faculty Advisor(s), by writing it under close supervision or oversight by a member of the full-time faculty, certified by the faculty member as meeting the standards of the Legal Writing Requirement. The submitted writing must be accepted for publication or certified by the Board of Editors as of publishable quality. If the student is not a member of an Honor Board, a student may satisfy the Legal Writing Requirement by writing a case comment selected through the summer author competition and accepted for publication.
iv. Moot Court writing: If the student is a member of the Moot Court Board, a student may satisfy the Legal Writing Requirement by completing a bench memorandum, brief, or other writing under close supervision or oversight by a full-time faculty member and certified by the faculty member or the faculty advisor to the Moot Court Board as meeting the standards of the Legal Writing Requirement. Other writing may include writing for the Journal of Trial and Appellate Advocacy, if it is accepted for publication in the Journal, or certified by the Board of Editors as of publishable quality, and otherwise meets the standards of the Legal Writing Requirement.
v. Writing for competition: A student may satisfy the Legal Writing Requirement if the student writes a brief for any interscholastic moot court competition, participation in which is sanctioned by the Law School. The brief must be written and revised in a manner consistent with the requirement of the applicable competition, and certified by the faculty member as meeting the standards of the Legal Writing Requirement.
2. Procedures, Requirements, and Deadlines
Fulfilling the Legal Writing Requirement requires due diligence and steady progress by the student involved. Every student must follow the procedures, requirements, and deadlines below in order to complete the Legal Writing Requirement, except as expressly modified by the supervising faculty member to fit the needs of a paper for a course or alternative described in section H (1) (f) (i-v). These procedures, requirements, and deadlines are ordinarily the minimum that students should be expected to meet. No student shall seek exemption from these Legal Writing Requirement procedures, requirements, and deadlines except for reasons of severe illness or for personal emergencies of the most serious nature. Prior to the due date of the paper, students must submit a signed request for extension to the supervising faculty member, which sets forth in detail the extraordinary circumstances believed to justify the exemption.
In responding to the student submissions set out below, the supervising faculty member should offer feedback to assist the student’s success, including one or more opportunities for the student to meet with the supervising faculty member. The supervising faculty member may also respond by commenting on the submissions received, suggesting ways to improve the work, and requiring, when the supervising faculty member deems it appropriate, submission of additional work or drafts by the student.
The student must submit to the supervising faculty member for such member’s approval a brief topic statement (not exceeding one page) describing the topic selected and the scope and focus of the paper.
SUGGESTED DUE DATE: By the end of the second week of the semester.
b. Research Plan and List of Authorities
The student must submit to the supervising faculty member a research plan that includes a list of authorities, relevant to the topic selected, which the student proposes to examine.
SUGGESTED DUE DATE: By the end of the fourth week of the semester.
The student must submit to the supervising faculty member an outline of the paper, showing the organization of the issues relevant to the topic, including what the student will discuss and how that discussion will be organized; how the authorities are to be integrated into a discussion of the issues; and the basic structure of the student’s analysis and conclusions. (A detailed outline should essentially be a “skeleton” for the first draft of the paper, so that, for example, a mere list of authorities would not be adequate to meet this standard. At the same time, students whose research and analysis lead them into new directions should feel that they can improve on their outline for their first draft.)
SUGGESTED DUE DATE: By the end of the eighth week of the semester.
d. First Draft
The student must submit to the supervising faculty member a first draft of the paper’s discussion and analysis of the topic with appropriate citations and footnotes.
SUGGESTED DUE DATE: By the end of the tenth week of the semester.
e. Final Paper
The student must submit to the supervising faculty member the final version of the paper for evaluation by the supervising faculty member. Because meeting deadlines is an important professional obligation, and supervising faculty need the opportunity to submit student grades in a timely manner, no paper submitted after the last day of the grading period for that semester will be deemed to satisfy the Legal Writing Requirement. An exception may be made where late delivery occurs with approval of the supervising faculty member, after he or she considers the student’s written statement of the extenuating circumstances and supporting documentation, which the student must submit with the paper for any requested late delivery to be considered. Late papers without such approval may receive an incomplete or unsatisfactory grade or other late sanctions of the faculty member as well as be deemed not to be in compliance with the standards to satisfy the Legal Writing Requirement.
DUE DATE: No later than the last day of the grading period.
During the first week of classes a student who has registered for an elective course or courses may add or drop the course or courses. Course changes are not allowed before the first day of classes or after the close of the designated add/drop period, except with the permission of the Associate Dean/Registrar, the Dean of Students or an Associate Dean. Failure to withdraw within the add/drop period may result in a grade of No Credit (F).
Any paper or other project required for a final grade in a course must be submitted no later than the end of the examination period for the semester in which the course is taken. If, for compelling reasons, the instructor allows an extension of time to complete the paper or project, the extension may be for a period no longer than 90 days from the end of the examination period. It is entirely within the instructor’s discretion to set the extended deadline for a period shorter than 90 days. No further extension may be granted unless approved by the Associate Dean/Registrar, the Dean of Students or an Associate Dean for extraordinary reasons. During any extension, the course grade will be recorded temporarily as “Incomplete.” However, if by the end of the examination period or extension, the paper or project has not been submitted, a grade of NO CREDIT (F) will be recorded.
Special programs of study,
including reduced course loads, not prescribed by the Faculty must be approved
in advance of registration by the Associate Dean/Registrar, the Dean of
Students or an Associate Dean. A regular student who by adding or dropping
courses does not take a normal course load during any academic year may be
reclassified as a special student for annual tuition payment purposes. In no event will the total tuition cost of
the Juris Doctor degree for a special student be less than that for a regular
student. A student taking ten (10) credit hours or more per semester in the Day
Division or seven (7) credit hours or more in the Evening Division per semester
is a regular student for purposes of tuition. .
A first year student receiving fewer than 25 credit hours in the day division or fewer than 16 credit hours in the evening division will not receive a class rank. Without a class rank a student may not be eligible for certain honors including but not limited to some scholarships and honor board competitions.
All students are expected to complete Legal Practice Skills during their first year, including those who have been approved for a reduced-course load. No student may withdraw from Legal Practice Skills unless he or she is withdrawing from Legal Practice Skills as part of an overall Leave of Absence from school. Accordingly, withdrawals due to class absences, failure to complete assignments on time, or due to the likelihood of a low final grade in Legal Practice Skills will not be permitted.
(The Grading Policy will be under review during 2014-2015, please see XII. CHANGES TO REGULATIONS)
The following grading policy applies to courses offered in the Fall 2009 semester and thereafter.
1. Grading standards for the required courses in Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Property, and Torts.
The distribution of grades submitted in a course by a faculty member in each semester shall conform to the following limits:
A: 5% to 10%
A- and higher: 20% to 25%
B+ and higher: 35% to 45%
B and higher: 65% to 70%
B- and lower: 30% to 35%
C+ and lower: 20% to 25%
C and lower: 10% to 16%
C- and lower: 0% to 8%
2. In courses other than Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, Contracts, Criminal Law, Property, and Torts and having an enrollment of 40 or more students, the suggested median final course grade is B+.
3. This policy does not apply to the Legal Practice Skills course.
Students will be graded on a scale of 0.00 to 4.00. Faculty may request a half-step grade increase for a student’s class participation provided such participation was not already included in the original grade submitted. Faculty must submit to the Registrar a list of students receiving grade increases at the time of, or prior to, submission of grades.
Cumulative and yearly grade point averages (GPAs) will be computed and recorded by a 0.0 to 4.00 system. A student’s official transcript will also show the letter grades awarded for all courses taken and will translate those letter grades into yearly and final cumulative grade point averages (GPAs).
Reports of grades are made as follows:
(Commencing in August 1998)
Grades of A, A-, B+, B, B-, C+ and C are considered Satisfactory. Grades of C-, D+, D, and D- are considered Unsatisfactory. A grade of F is considered a Failure and no credit is awarded.
Once course grades are submitted by the instructor to the Registrar they may not be altered (other than to correct a clerical error), except by vote of the Law School Faculty.
Course instructors may use a number of different assessment methods for grading the students in their classes, including use of quizzes, one or more assignments (papers, memos, drafting exercises, simulations, oral exercises or presentations), class participation, mid-term examination, final examination, or final paper. This also includes following a traditional approach by offering a three-hour examination given at the end of the semester. The instructor will notify the students of the grading method used.
A student’s class rank is determined on the basis of his or her weighted average, which is cumulated after the first year. Official class ranks are compiled only at the close of each academic year. However, unofficial class ranks are compiled after the first semester. Only official class ranks may be recorded on a transcript.
Class rank will be recorded on the transcript for any student who requests it. For first-year students only, section rank will also be recorded at the student’s option.
A first year student receiving fewer than 25 credit hours in the day division or fewer than 16 credit hours in the evening division will not receive a class rank. Without a class rank a student may not be eligible for certain honors including but not limited to some scholarships and honor board competitions.
Examination numbers are used in all examinations. Only those students who have fulfilled their financial obligations to the University will receive examination numbers. A student must take the courses and examinations for the section in which he or she is enrolled.
The Examination Rules and Regulations govern all examinations. The Examination Rules and Regulations are available on the Law School’s web-site and Portal.
No student may fail to take an examination scheduled for his or her program of study or take an examination not so scheduled. If for some compelling reason beyond his or her control the student is unable to take a scheduled examination, a written statement setting forth the reasons therefore must be promptly submitted to the office of the Dean of Students. If the compelling reason exists in advance of the examination, the written statement must be submitted before the examination. The Dean of Students will approve or disapprove the request. An unapproved failure to take a scheduled examination will be recorded as a grade of No Credit (F).
No record will be made or credit given for an unapproved taking of any examination. Where a student has omitted to take a required examination with approval, the grade for the course will be recorded temporarily as an “X”. A permanent grade of F will be recorded if the student fails to take the next regularly scheduled examination in the course. Where a student fails to complete a paper or other project for a course by the end of the term, the grade for the course will be recorded temporarily as “I” for “incomplete.”
A student who without permission fails to sit for his or her examinations may be dismissed administratively.
A student in good academic standing may take a reexamination in any course in which he or she has received an unsatisfactory grade of C-, D+, D, or D-. A student who wishes to take a reexamination must register for the reexamination at least 30 days before the examination period begins. Reexamination must be in the same division, unless the Associate Dean/Registrar, the Dean of Students or an Associate Dean waives this requirement for good cause. The reexamination option does not apply to a grade of F.
Reexaminations shall be graded on a Pass / Unsatisfactory / Fail basis. The grade on the reexamination shall appear on the student’s transcript along with the original unsatisfactory grade, but only the original grade will be counted in the student’s overall grade point average. However, if a student receives a Pass on the reexamination, he or she shall be deemed to have a satisfactory grade in the course for purposes of the regulation (Regulation I (A) (3)) barring graduation with unsatisfactory grades in more than three courses, and he or she shall be deemed to have satisfactorily completed the course for purposes of any prescribed prerequisite requirement under Regulation II (C) (4) (f). The Reexamination shall have no effect under Regulations I (B), I (C), or II (C) (4) (b).
Students taking reexaminations must take the examination prepared by the professor who gave the original examination, unless exempted from this requirement, in writing, by an Associate Dean. No such exemption is required, however, if the professor is no longer teaching the course.
Grades received in reexaminations are final. Only one reexamination may be taken in any one course.
Reexamination is not an option for students who are not in good academic standing, and it does not serve as a way for students to raise their G.P.A.s or to avoid action under the Academic Standing Requirements (Regulation II.C.).
Note: In accordance with the provisions of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (Section 438 of the General Education Provisions Act, 20 U.S.C § 1232 (g)), commonly known as the “Buckley Amendment”, Suffolk University has adopted regulations to protect the privacy rights of its students. A copy of these regulations is available in the Registrar’s Office and on the Law School’s web-site and Portal.
The following Paragraphs (A-D) apply to the Suffolk University Law School programs in Boston and Lund, Sweden. For non-Suffolk summer programs, see policy on Visiting Out, Study Abroad and Electives at Non-Suffolk Programs.
Suffolk University Law School offers a 10-week summer program open to students who have completed the first year of law school in good standing at an American Bar Association-accredited law school. An applicant to the program must present a letter of good standing from the dean of his or her law school.
Notes: For purposes of the ABA residency requirement, the summer law program is equivalent to one-half semester. The Suffolk University Law School Sweden Summer Program is not covered by this section (IV.A.)
Any student may take up to 5 credits (10 classroom hours per week) without special permission. Evening students may take up to 6 credits without special permission. Any student wishing to take 7 credits (14 classroom hours per week) must petition the Associate Dean/Registrar for special administrative approval. Day students wishing to take 6 or 7 credits (12 to 14 classroom hours per week) must petition the Associate Dean/Registrar for special administrative approval.
Any evening division Suffolk student intending to accelerate his or her program by one semester must complete 9, 10, 11, or 12 credits over two or three summer sessions. Evening students must enroll in a minimum of 4 credits in summer sessions.
Any evening student who enrolls in 9-12 credits in summer sessions may be eligible to eliminate the final semester of study provided:
1. The student enrolls in 2 summer sessions of at least 4 credits and earns a minimum of 9 credits in the Suffolk Boston Summer Sessions; or
2. The student enrolls in at least 3 summer sessions of at least 3 credits and earns a minimum of 9 credits in the Suffolk Boston Summer Sessions; or
3. The student enrolls in 1 summer session of at least 4 credits in the Suffolk Sweden Session and also enrolls in 2 summer sessions of at least 4 credits in the Suffolk Boston Summer Sessions; or
4. The student enrolls in a non Suffolk Summer session of at least 4 credits in a 3 week session and also enrolls in 2 summer sessions of at least 4 credits in the Suffolk Boston Summer Sessions.
Any Evening Division Suffolk student attending one summer session must enroll in at least 5 credits (two courses) to reduce his or her final semester credit requirement to fewer than 7 credits and thus qualify for reduced tuition.
Any Day Division Suffolk student attending only one summer session must enroll in at least 5 credits (two courses) to reduce his or her final semester credit requirements to fewer than 10 credits and thus qualify for reduced tuition.
Any Day or Evening Division Suffolk student may apply credits earned during a summer session to his or her last semester without approval from the Associate Dean/Registrar. Day students may not use Summer Session credits to eliminate their final semester.
If a student is currently unable to continue the study of law, the Associate Dean/Registrar, Dean of Students or an Associate Dean may grant the student a Leave of Absence for up to one year. A student granted a leave of absence is entitled to return to the Law School at the end of the term of the leave without reapplying for admission, subject to the requirements and process set forth in the Voluntary Leave of Absence/Voluntary Withdrawal Policy. A Leave of Absence will be granted to a first-year student only under extraordinary circumstances.
A student who wishes to withdraw from the Law School must file a written request to do so and obtain permission from the Associate Dean/Registrar, Dean of Students or an Associate Dean. No student may withdraw after the examination period begins or while consideration of his or her academic standing is pending.
The specific process and form necessary for requesting a voluntary leave of absence or voluntary withdrawal are more fully described in the Voluntary Leave of Absence/Voluntary Withdrawal Process, contained within this publication and on the Law School’s website and Portal.
The Law School may place a student on an Involuntary Leave of Absence in certain circumstances. The process for an Involuntary Leave of Absence is more fully described in the section entitled, “Involuntary Leave of Absence” within this publication and on the Law School’s website.
1. Non-Academic Separations. A student who has previously voluntarily withdrawn from the law school with decanal approval or who has been previously dismissed for administrative or disciplinary reasons must submit a petition seeking readmission in order to reenter the law school. Such petitions will be considered by the Faculty Academic Standing Committee. In the case of a student dismissed for disciplinary reasons, the Academic Standing Committee will make a recommendation to the faculty, which will determine whether to readmit the student. A student who is readmitted to the law school after having withdrawn or having been dismissed for administrative or disciplinary reasons is subject to the academic requirements and regulations in force upon reentry.
Such former students seeking readmission must submit a written petition, in letter form, to be considered by the Academic Standing Committee. The petition must address, in detail, the reasons for the student’s prior withdrawal or dismissal, along with a statement explaining why the prior circumstances will no longer affect the student’s ability to successfully study law and practice law.
2. Academic Separations. A student who has previously been dismissed for academic reasons and wishes to reenter the law school must submit a written petition for readmission. Such petition, submitted on a form provided by the Admissions Office, will be considered by the Faculty Academic Standing Committee or its designees. The Academic Standing Committee shall not act favorably upon a readmission petition unless the petitioner has demonstrated to the Committee’s satisfaction by clear and convincing evidence that the petitioner possesses the requisite ability to succeed in the study of law.
The petition shall be in three parts:
Part I shall inform the Committee of the reasons for the petitioner’s academic deficiency while enrolled in the law school. Full documentation of the circumstances must accompany the petition. If such reasons involve physical or psychological incapacity before or during examinations, full documentation of the problem from a treating professional must accompany the petition.
Part II shall inform the Committee of all events in the petitioner’s life since the date of his or her academic dismissal that bear on the petitioner’s ability to succeed in the study of law. Part II shall include relevant information, supported when appropriate by verifying documentation, pertaining to the petitioner’s post-dismissal employment history and/or academic pursuits, post-dismissal medical history (to the extent that it bears on the ability to study law) and post-dismissal arrests and/or convictions, if any.
Part III shall inform the Committee of the reasons why the petitioner believes that he or she now possesses the requisite ability to succeed in the study of law. Included in Part III shall be an explanation of why the cause(s) of the petitioner’s academic deficiency will not continue to interfere with the petitioner’s ability to succeed in the study of law.
A petitioner’s failure to apprise the Committee of all relevant facts that bear on the petitioner’s ability to succeed in the study of law, including those that are adverse to the petitioner, or to furnish appropriate verifying documentation, in and of itself is grounds for denial of the readmission application.
Historically, readmission to the law school following academic dismissal is rarely approved. In those cases where the Committee acts favorably on a petition for readmission, the Committee has wide latitude to place conditions on readmission as it deems advisable in order to increase the likelihood that the readmitted student will succeed in the study of law. By way of example only, the Committee may require that no academic credit be awarded for a course for which the petitioner received a satisfactory grade while enrolled at the law school prior to academic dismissal. An applicant who is readmitted to the law school following academic dismissal is subject to the academic requirements and regulations in force upon reentry.
[Amended by Law Faculty on 11/14/13]
1. A student who withdrew from the law school with decanal approval must submit a petition for readmission no later than July 1st for enrollment in the next Fall semester, no later than November 1st for enrollment in the next Spring semester and no later than April 1st for enrollment in the next Summer School session. Such a former student must submit a petition, in letter form, as described in Paragraph A (1) above.
The following Paragraphs (2-5) do not apply to students who were previously suspended from the law school. Such students are entitled to enroll at the law school upon the conclusion of their suspension.
2. If a student was previously dismissed for administrative or disciplinary reasons, the former student may not submit a petition for readmission sooner than 12 calendar months from the effective date of dismissal. If the applicant is readmitted, the applicant may not enroll before 24 calendar months have elapsed since the effective date of dismissal. The Administrative Committee shall indicate the “effective date of dismissal.”
3. If a student was previously dismissed for academic reasons pursuant to Academic Rules and Regulations II C, the former student may petition for readmission to the law school no sooner than March 1 of the calendar year following dismissal. The petition for readmission must be submitted no later than April 1 of the academic year in which the petitioner seeks to reenter the law school.
All petitions for readmission must be submitted through the law school's Office of Admissions. For applicants seeking readmission following an academic dismissal, the petition must be submitted on a Form available from the Office of Admissions. A petitioner is entitled to an interview with a designee of the Academic Standing Committee. The interview must be requested in the petition. All petitions and any accompanying materials must be received by the Office of Admissions by the appropriate date as set forth in Paragraph B (Time Restrictions). Petitions that are not submitted by said deadline will not be considered, except for compelling reasons.
If a student, previously dismissed for an academic, administrative or disciplinary reason, is denied readmission by the Academic Standing Committee or the Faculty (in the case of a dismissal for disciplinary reasons), the denial is final and unappealable. A subsequent petition for readmission may not be submitted within five years of the denial of the previous petition.
A candidate for the JD/MPA program must meet the admission criteria for both the MPA, as determined by the Sawyer School of Management, and the JD as determined by the Law School. No student will be considered for admission to the School of Management until the Law School Admissions Committee has acted favorably.
The curriculum requirements for the JD/MPA program are controlled by the respective schools. The JD/MPA degrees will be granted upon completion of 110 semester hours of work. Of this number, 80 semester hours must be completed in the Law School and 30 in the MPA program. Eighteen semester hours of electives are also required. At least nine semester hours must be taken in the Law School. The remaining nine hours may be completed in either the Law School or MPA program.
Course requirements for the JD/MPA program may be obtained from the Law School’s web-site.
A candidate for the JD/MBA program must apply separately to the Law School and to the University Graduate Admissions Office, indicating, on both applications, interest in the JD/MBA. Applicants must meet the general admissions standards of both the Law School and the Sawyer Business School. No student will be considered for admission to the Sawyer Business School until the Law School Admissions Committee has acted favorably. The GMAT requirement is waived with substitution of the LSAT score for those with a favorable Law School admission decision.
A candidate must obtain a total of 112 to 115 credits for the joint degree. To qualify for the joint degree, a candidate must obtain 72 credits in the Law School, of which 12 credits may be awarded for courses taken in the Sawyer Business School.
A candidate must also obtain 55 credits in the Sawyer Business School, of which 12 credits are awarded for courses taken in the Law School; and 40 to 43 credits must be taken in the Sawyer Business School.
The JD/MBA graduate receives two diplomas, which are awarded when all requirements of both degrees have been fulfilled.
The joint JD/MBA program is open to full- and part-time students. JD/MBA students are strongly advised to enroll in the Law School for their first year in the JD/MBA degree and add MBA courses to their course load in the second year of the joint degree.
A student in the JD/MBA program must proceed according to either of the following tracks:
|Track One||Track Two|
|Year 1||MBA courses (30 credits)||First Year Law Curriculum (30 credits)|
|Year 2||First Year Law Curriculum (30 credits)||MBA courses (30 credits)|
|Year 3||Law/MBA courses (25 credits)||Law/MBA courses (25 credits)|
|Year 4||Law/MBA courses (25 credits)||Law/MBA courses (25 credits)|
Course requirements for the JD/MBA program may be obtained from the Law Registrar’s Office or Law School Office of Admissions.
Suffolk Law's Three-Year JD/MBA program allows students to complete both a JD and an MBA degree in three years, instead of four. In the three-year program students enroll in courses during the summers between their first and second year of study and between their second and third year of study in order to complete the requisite number of credits for both degrees. The program allows students to count a limited number of credits toward both degrees, thus reducing the number of credits that would be required if the degrees were earned separately.
A candidate must obtain a total of 112 to 115 credits for the joint degree. To qualify for the joint degree, a candidate must obtain 84 credits in the Law School, of which 12 credits may be awarded for courses taken in the Sawyer Business School; and 72 credits must be taken in the Law School.
A candidate must obtain 55 credits in the Sawyer Business School, of which 12 credits are awarded for courses taken in the Law School; and 40 to 43 credits must be taken in the Sawyer Business School.
A candidate for the Three-Year JD/MBA program must be a full-time student and is required to meet the admission standards of the Law School and the Sawyer Business School. A candidate MUST file two applications: one to the Law School and one to the University Graduate Admissions Office.
Both applications should indicate the selection of the joint degree. The Law School evaluates the application for admission criteria applicable to the Law side of the joint degree. The Graduate Admission Office evaluates the application for admission criteria to the MBA.
A student considering the Three-Year JD/MBA program should apply to both schools as early as possible. A student interested in pursuing the program should apply and be admitted to both schools prior to matriculation at either school.
A candidate for the four-year JD/MBA program may apply to both schools simultaneously or they may apply during their first or second year of enrollment in the Law School or as a first-year MBA student.
Students in the three-year JD/MBA have two options for completing the program:
Year 1 First Year Law Curriculum (30 credits)
Summer Law courses (10 credits)
Year 2 MBA courses (32 credits)
Summer MBA courses (12 credits)
Year 3 Law courses (32 credits)
Year 1 First Year Law Curriculum (30 credits)
Summer Law courses (10 credits)
Year 2 MBA courses (28 credits) and Law Courses (4 credits)
Summer MBA courses (12 credits)
Year 3 Law courses (28 credits) and MBA courses (4 credits)
Course requirements for the JD/MSIE program may be viewed online at:
A candidate for the JD/MSF program must meet the admission requirements for both the JD, as determined by the Law School, and the MSF, as determined by the Department of Finance in the Sawyer Business School. A candidate must obtain a total of 108-117 credits for the joint degree. In order to qualify for the joint degree, a candidate must obtain 78 credits in the Law School and at least 30-39 credits from the core curriculum and electives in the Department of Finance. A student in the JD/MSF program must proceed according to one of the following tracks:
|Track One||Track Two|
|Year 1||MSF courses (24 credits)||First Year Law Curriculum (30 credits)|
|Year 2||First Year Law Curriculum (30 credits)||MSF courses (24 credits)|
|Year 3||Law (24 credits)/MSF courses (3 credits)||Law (24 credits)/MSF courses (3 credits)|
|Year 4||Law (24 credits)/MSF courses (3 credits)||Law (24 credits)/MSF courses (3 credits)|
Course requirements for the JD/MSF program may be obtained from the Law Registrar’s Office or the Law School Office of Admissions.
Course requirements for the JD/MSCJ program may be viewed online at:www.suffolk.edu/college/departments/16278.php
See requirements for the JD/LLM in Taxation set forth on the Law School website at:
A candidate for the JD/LLM in Tax joint degree program must apply to each program separately except that a prospective JD student may submit the two applications simultaneously. Applicants must meet the admissions standards of both programs. A student must obtain a total of at least 96 credits to earn both the JD and the Tax LLM. Of those, 12 credits, consisting of the two courses of the intensive tax summer program, count only toward the Tax LLM. Up to 14 credits of additional tax courses within the approved Tax LLM curriculum, see Tax LLM Regulation III, may count toward both the JD and the Tax LLM. A candidate for the joint degree JD/Tax LLM must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.00, determined at the close of each academic year. If a candidate’s GPA falls below 3.00 as of the close of any academic year, the individual is dismissed from the Tax LLM, but that circumstance does not have any adverse effect, by itself, on the individual’s academic standing in the JD program.
All joint degree candidates are subject to section II(G) of these rules and regulations, limiting credit for ungraded activities to 2 credits per semester. Students participating in a joint degree program are subject to all Rules, Regulations and Policies of the JD program. A joint degree student who is dismissed from the law school for academic or disciplinary reasons will be dismissed from the joint degree program and may only resume studies in one or both of the schools if the student is successful in reapplying to the school(s) in accordance with the school(s) readmission standards. Lesser academic or disciplinary sanctions and/or probationary conditions may apply in both schools as well. In the case of a joint degree within the law school (such as the JD/Tax LLM), a student dismissed from either law school program will be dismissed from both law school programs and if subject to lesser sanctions than dismissal, the sanctions will apply to both law school programs. For more information, please see the Dean of Students for more information.
For more information on the Joint Degree Programs, including the three-year JD/MBA program and the BSE/JD program, visit the law school’s web page under “Academic Programs” (www.law.suffolk.edu/academic/ ).
The Law Faculty, upon the recommendation of the Curriculum Committee, may designate a particular grouping of courses with other academic requirements as an “academic concentration.” In making such a designation, the Law School Faculty will require that the proposed “academic concentration” comply substantially with the following description guidelines.
Such designations are to be made in order to provide:
1. Focus of school resources and faculty effort in areas of the law likely to benefit students, the reputation of the Law School and the outside legal community.
2. Guidance in course selection and career development for students interested in pursuing a particular area of law practice.
3. An opportunity for students to distinguish themselves in a competitive job market.
4. Enhanced quality to the entire JD program.
An academic concentration shall consist of the following requirements:
1. An introductory academic course or sequence of academic courses.
2. Additional academic courses (including Base Menu courses) such that the total number of academic credits under (1) and (2) in each participating student’s program equals a minimum set for the academic concentration, which shall not be less than 14 credits, as determined by the faculty proposing the concentration and approved by the Law faculty.
3. A Skills course or internship in an agency or law firm that has been designated by a concentration Faculty Director as providing practical experience related to the concentration.
4. Successful completion of either a concentration thesis of publishable quality or the Law School’s legal writing requirement in a concentration course. A concentration Faculty Director must approve, in writing, the topic and supervisory arrangements for all students writing a thesis. All theses must be written under the supervision of a full time faculty member. If a student wishes to have an adjunct faculty member supervise a paper written in satisfaction of a concentration’s legal writing requirement, the student must obtain prior approval by a concentration faculty director and an Associate Dean. [as amended 11/30/00]
In order to qualify for completion of the concentration requirements, a student must (i) attain upon graduation a minimum cumulative average of 3.25 in concentration courses and must not have received a grade less than 2.00 in any such course; (ii) attain upon graduation a minimum cumulative average of 3.00 for the entire JD program; (iii) satisfy the concentration writing requirement; and (iv) in the case of the civil litigation concentration, complete an internship or clinical program approved by the concentration Faculty Director.
Any student who is in good academic standing and has successfully completed the first year of the Day program or of the Evening program may file with the Law School Registrar a Notice of Enrollment in a particular academic concentration. A student may be enrolled in only one such concentration at any time but may change enrollment to another concentration. The Law School Registrar shall forward a copy of each such notice to the appropriate concentration Faculty Concentration Director.
Students pursuing concentrations will be responsible for ensuring that they have satisfied the requirements of their chosen academic concentrations. Upon completing the requirements of an academic concentration, a participating student shall submit to the Law School Registrar a Notice of Concentration Completion specifying the courses taken, other programs completed in fulfillment of the concentration requirements, and how the student satisfied the concentration’s writing requirement. The Law School Registrar’s only obligation will be to notify students of the need to submit the Notice of Concentration Completion and to verify information presented in those notices. The appropriate Concentration Faculty Director will determine in conjunction with the Law School Registrar whether students submitting Notices of Concentration Completion have satisfied the requirements necessary to earn an academic concentration.
1. Certificate. Upon graduation, each student who has completed all requirements for his or her academic concentration shall receive a certificate issued by the Law School indicating that the student has completed a concentration.
2. Certificate with Distinction. Concentration students who have either completed a thesis approved by a concentration Faculty Director or attained upon graduation a cumulative 3.50 average in all concentration courses shall receive a certificate indicating the student has completed the concentration with distinction.
3. Transcripts. Any academic transcript issued for a concentration graduate shall have a notation indicating that the student has completed his or her concentration, and, as applicable, whether a student has completed his or her concentration with distinction. An explanation of the nature of the concentration completed shall be attached to the transcript.
A student may receive a certificate and transcript notation in only one academic concentration. The certificates and transcript notations will make clear that these are academic concentrations, not practice specialties.
For each academic concentration designated by the Law Faculty, the Dean shall appoint a resident faculty member or members who shall serve as the concentration faculty director(s). The concentration Faculty Director(s) shall on an annual basis recommend to the Curriculum Committee for consideration by that committee and the Law School Faculty what courses or academic requirements should be added to or deleted from the concentration designation. However, routine amendments to concentration academic requirements may be adopted by the Curriculum Committee acting alone without subsequent Law School faculty validation. Routine amendments include amendments such as determining elective courses that may satisfy concentration requirements, as distinct from amendments affecting the structure or requirements of academic concentrations. In addition, the concentration Faculty Director(s) shall from time to time schedule conferences for faculty members teaching in the concentration, oversee the performance of adjunct faculty teaching in the concentration offering, and invite to the school speakers practicing in the area of the concentration. Faculty teaching in the concentration shall assist the concentration Faculty Director(s) in providing course selection and career development advice to students enrolled in the concentration.
See requirements for the financial services concentration set forth on the Law School website.
See requirements for the health and biomedical law concentration set forth on the Law School website.
See requirements for the intellectual property law concentration set forth on the Law School website.
See requirements for the international law concentration set forth on the Law School website.
See requirements for the civil litigation concentration set forth on the Law School website.
See requirements for the labor and employment concentration set forth on the Law School website.
See requirements for the Legal Technology and Innovation Concentration set forth on the Law School website.
This section applies to programs that provide for academic specializations not otherwise categorized as an Academic Concentration.
[Approved by Law Faculty on 12/12/13]
The Accelerator Program is a specialized track of instruction within the law school designed to prepare students to create or enter solo or small private practices capable of profitably providing competent and affordable legal services to average income individuals and families upon graduation. The goal of the program is to introduce students to the theory, practice, business and technology skills needed to do satisfying legal work and contribute to meeting the needs of potential clients in the justice gap- those who do not qualify for free legal services but cannot afford to engage lawyers in a high priced legal market. The core components of this program include specialized professional development and law practice management instruction combined with successive practical training experiences, including training in an imbedded fee generating law practice within the law school (the “Accelerator Practice”).
1. Accelerator-to-Practice Course Curriculum
Students enrolled in the Accelerator Program will be required to meet all current requirements for graduation. In addition to these requirements, students will be required to take a menu of required upper level courses equivalent to a minimum of 29 course credits in their second and third years. They will also be required to complete any requirements necessary to obtain SJC Rule 3:03 certification. Students in the Accelerator Program will be required to maintain a GPA of at least 2.67, as students on Academic Warning could not meet the course requirements of the program.
Required courses: 15 credits
Students must take ONE of the following two courses:
Hit the Ground Running or Becoming a 21st Century Lawyer (Inter-session)
Students must take all of the following courses:
Representation of Clients in Fee Shifting and Fee Generating Cases
Legal Problems of Every Day Life: 2 credits in which students explore how the legal needs of average income people both differ from and are similar to the needs of the poor ;
Interviewing and Counseling
Negotiation (Inter-session or semester)
Problem Solving (currently offered in Inter-session)
Students must take at least two courses from among the following currently offered courses:
Consumer Law Survey or Consumer Protection
Employment Law or Employment Discrimination
Housing or Housing Discrimination
Representing Clients in Alternative Dispute Resolution
Basic Income Tax
Drafting Discovery Documents
Drafting Wills and Trusts
Elder Law and the Aging Client
Financial Issues in Family Law
Mental Health Law
Personal Injury Practice
Pre-Trial Civil Litigation
Trusts and Estates
Students must take must take at least one from the following
Project Management for Lawyers
Lawyering in the Age of Smart Machines
(The above courses may not be available in every semester or year.)
2. Accelerator-to-Practice Experiential Training
Students will engage in a cumulative series of supervised work experiences to prepare them to be competent practitioners upon graduation. One or more of these will be in an imbedded income generating law practice, to provide legal services to average income individuals and families, while teaching students how to engage in the skilled, ethical, reflective and sustainable practice of law.
The Accelerator Practice is a fee-for-services practice, replicating existing successful business models focused on alternate fee structures and cases providing for recovery of attorneys’ fees and costs. Student learning will include critical practice management tools in accounting and billing, marketing, external controls (financial auditing and effectiveness assessments) and other business competencies. The goal is that through the Accelerator Practice, students will learn a replicable model for building a sustainable and profitable practice.
In the summer between their first and second year, students will complete a residency at a solo or small private practice with a required pedagogical component similar to an externship seminar designed to contextualize the student experience. In the summer between their second and third year, students will be employed in the Accelerator Practice or in a solo or small practice engaged in succession planning with the goal of the student entering the practice after graduation with the likelihood of succession. In their third year, students will practice in the Accelerator Practice through mandatory enrollment in a full year eight credit clinical-type course.
The Law School does not allow a student to transfer between divisions unless the student can present a compelling reason for such a transfer. A request for transfer should take the form of a petition addressed to the Associate Dean/Registrar. Division transfers will not be permitted until the expiration of one full year.
Students requesting transfer after the first year in the evening division should file a petition no later than March 1. To make up the necessary credits and residency requirements to meet degree requirements the student must follow one of two tracks:
In the spring of the first year, enroll in the day division Constitutional Law course (4 credits) in addition to the regular spring semester evening courses. A petition to overload must be filed and will be granted only if the student is not employed in excess of twenty (20) hours per week.
Enroll in one Suffolk University Law School Summer Boston session, or equivalent sessions, of at least 4 credits
Enroll in two Suffolk University Law School Summer Boston sessions, or equivalent sessions, totaling no less than 8 credits.
For those students who request a transfer to the day division after or during the second year in the evening division, a determination will be made at the time of transfer based on the number of credits and days in residence completed as to the remaining degree requirements.
Students interested in transferring from the evening division to the day division should consult with the Associate Dean/Registrar.
A determination will be made at the time of transfer based on the number of credits and days in residence completed as to the remaining degree requirements.
Students interested in transferring from the day division to the evening division should consult with the Associate Dean/Registrar.
A student may be placed on disciplinary probation, suspended, or dismissed for conduct unbecoming to a student of the law. Conduct unbecoming to a student of the law includes (1) violating any rule, regulation or policy of the Law School or University, (2) engaging in illegal activity entailing moral turpitude, (3) dishonesty, fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, academic dishonesty in a course, the examination process, the application process and plagiarism, or (4) any other conduct which reflects adversely on a student’s fitness to practice law. Examples of conduct considered to be violative of this standard include, but are not limited to, the following:
• Failure to comply with the request of a Law School or University representative acting in the performance of his/her duties.
• Failure to comply with all Examination Regulations, including the Laptop Examination Rules.
• Misrepresenting oneself as another.
• Intentional disruption of the examination process.
• Failure to properly disclose any information required by the Suffolk University Law School Application, Certification of Disclosures or Bar Authorization forms.
• Using threatening or profane language or demonstrating threatening behavior toward a member of the Law School or University community.
• Forgery, alteration, or misuse of any document, including but not limited to University forms or documents, documents submitted for admissions or financial aid purposes, and/or recommendations, or any other document required for participation in any Law School or University program, or other record or instrument of identification.
• Inappropriate, unruly or unprofessional behavior (including excessive inebriation) at a University or Law School event.
• Violation of any federal, state, or local law.
• Participation in the disruption or obstruction of teaching, research, administration or other University activities.
• Conduct that is lewd or indecent such as streaking, public urination, public defecation, or stripping.
• Failure to register an event with the appropriate Suffolk department.
• Unauthorized solicitation.
• Failure to carry and/or present a Suffolk University identification card when requested.
• Inappropriate communication with members of the University community.
• Unauthorized use of the Suffolk University name, logo, mascot, or other symbol.
• Unauthorized use of Suffolk University directories.
• Unprofessional and disruptive physical behavior such as horseplay, excessive noise or throwing objects from windows, roofs, or balconies.
• Physical assault or verbal abuse, threats, intimidation, harassment, or coercion, including, but not limited to, any conduct that threatens or endangers the health or safety of another person.
• Any action that insults, stigmatizes, threatens, or endangers another individual or that subjects another person to physical or emotional injury, because of that individual’s race, gender, disability, age, marital status, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, national origin, gender identity, gender expression, veteran status, genetic information and/or personal characteristics*
• Any action that violates the University’s Policy Against Discrimination and Harassment.
• Sexual misconduct, sexual harassment, or inappropriate behavior of a sexual nature*
• Use, possession, manufacture and/or distribution of illegal drugs or medications prescribed to another.
• Attempted use or use of electronic devices that invade a person’s privacy.
*Violations related to sexual harassment and sexual misconduct are covered by the University Sexual Misconduct Policy and Law School Sexual Misconduct Complaint Procedure
The Law School has promulgated a formal disciplinary procedure for handling allegations of student misconduct. The procedure is available on the law school’s website and from the Dean of Students Office. (The Disciplinary Procedure will be under review during 2014-2015.)
The Law School reserves the right to change the schedule of classes, the program of instruction, the requirements for credits or degrees, and any rule or regulation established for the government of the student body in the school. Any such change may be made applicable to students already enrolled in the Law School.